EPA Formaldehyde Rule:
The Environmental Protection Agency published its rule covering formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products in 2016. Most of the main requirements were scheduled to be implemented by December 2017.
These requirements were delayed until December 2018 by the Trump Administration. Consequently, The Sierra Club and Earth Justice filed a lawsuit in California seeking to vacate that extension ruling following that delay.
The court ruled in Sierra Club’s favor in mid-February. This established a new implementation timeline. Current California regulations only apply to products distributed in California. The new EPA rule applies to retailers nationwide.
Most importantly, retailers must maintain bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents for three years. In addition, they will need a statement of TSCA Section VI compliance under the EPA rule.
This chain-of-custody is critical for compliance purposes.
CARB Phase II Compliance:
All domestic & imported composite wood products containing formaldehyde need to be labeled as CARB Phase II Compliant, beginning in June 1, 2018. From June 1, 2018 through March 22, 2019 CARB Phase II compliance (labeled) will equal EPA TSCA Title VI as long as the Third-Party Certifier (TPC) is recognized by both CARB and EPA. After March 22, 2019, imported and domestic composite wood products will need to have the EPA TSCA Title VI label. CARB is still relevant in California, but the EPA will cover everyone else.
Be Sure Your Products are Compliant:
While the vast majority of composite wood products are currently CARB Phase II compliant, CARB Phase II compliant labels on product being sold should be checked by retailers. Finally, for retailers outside of California with no possibility of selling in to California, make sure you understand and retain your chain of custody documents (invoices, bills of lading, or comparable documents with a statement of TSCA Section VI compliance).